29 September 2023


In a joint call to the European Commission, CLECAT expressed earlier this week their serious concerns on the implementation of the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) with a reporting obligation as of 1 October 2023. 

Since when the CBAM proposal was tabled, a premise was set that a gradual approach will give producers time to adapt in a predictable manner.  CLECAT and EEA consider that a timeline of less than 2 months is too short to enable the trade sector to understand implementing legislation and rules published recently (17 August 2023), with many questions still unanswered, to communicate and collect information on a global scale with an assessment and consent of the owner/exporter of goods, and to provide competence and expertise performing defined transactions on imported goods, as of 1 October 2023, reporting direct and indirect emissions embedded in them, and any carbon price effectively paid abroad for those emissions, including carbon prices paid for emissions embedded in relevant precursor materials.

The European Commission has promised to launch soon an information campaign, featuring online seminars, in-person events, distribution of guidance documents and provision of direct assistance, aimed at supporting third country operators and importers to perform the new obligations required by the CBAM Regulation and its secondary legislation. However, even though useful guidance documents were published on 17 August 2023 in the CBAM dedicated website of the Commission, the online webinars will only take place between September and October, whereas the eLearning course is yet to be published, except for the nano course made available recently. The expectation for economic operators to navigate and assess the available material, or to communicate the implications, prepare training and internal processes accordingly, to allow collection of data from 1 October 2023 onwards is absolutely unfeasible and impossible. 

In light of uncertainties, unclarities, unavailable CBAM registry, late communication campaigns and guidance to goods’ manufacturers in third countries and import stakeholders, CLECAT and ESC have called on the Commission to   

  1. Consider an extension of the date of implementation in order to ensure proper planning, development, execution, communication, training and support. CBAM has a global reach, with different players being subject to stringent and complex rules, currently with too short notice.
  2. Re-examine the legal requirements, and review them in particular conditions to make a clear distinction between customs representatives’ responsibilities and CBAM responsibilities and the obligations of the importer and exporter of goods, to provide competence and expertise performing the defined transactions. Furthermore, professional actors specialized in emissions calculation and reporting (but not necessarily being the customs representative nor the importer), should be allowed to take up CBAM related responsibilities.

The position can be found here.